Goude, cf. Goudi

Visual essay, poster, brochure

Γουδή, βλ. Γουδί

Visual essay created for a school project called Urban Oases. I was invited to choose an abandoned urban space, define the problem through research and analysis, and then design a solution inside the area.

Original post in greek.

The problem

Researching the park in Goudi, other than the signs of abandonment in the place and the lack of development and promotion of the area, one finds that the space has a weak and unclear identity. Not only visual and strategic identity, but also linguistic-onomastic. I wouldn't describe the space as "mute", but rather dyslexic. The toponym Goude or Goudi /ɣuˈði/ has ambiguous meaning and it devalues the identity of the park and the region, since it has a monumental/sign value and it's the denotative signification of a place.

The proper or original name is not clear due to lack of historical evidence, but it's not that important if you don't first make a critique of the socio-political value of the toponym.

According to Baudrillard, in the society the simulacrum precedes the meaning and abolishes it. The signification of the anthroponym "Goude" is deleted when transformed into the toponym "Goudi". Goudi is now the simulacrum of the area that belonged to the Goude family, the initial signifier acquires a new signified and a new sign is created. Name as private property is transformed into public space, and the subject becomes object. The uninflected proper noun becomes an inflected noun, and acquires a functional value since it can be used easily in speech. It becomes an urban monument with greater importance than its historical tradition, especially since it refers to a common utensil — a pestle — (generic), and not a proper noun anymore (specific).

In the post-capitalist society the exchange of values passes from material products and services to intangible assets. The place is now a "product" with an identity and acquires many values beyond territorial. But the vision of Baudrillard now applies to a second level. The merchandise-simulacrum "Goudi" will lose its substance in favor of a signification of greater value. The area of "Goude" must regain its prestige through its historical-symbolic value to the standards of the neo-conservative language. It will divest the corrupt word "Goudi" (from pestle), along with its functional value, its orthographic accuracy and its long establishment, product of the popular class, for the sake of the artificial needs of the bourgeoisie. The debate is now a class conflict, concerning the creation of a puristic reality and not the search for true context.


The brochure presents the research and explains the problem as a visual essay.

Goudi brochure Goudi brochure Goudi brochure Goudi brochure

The solution

As a solution I propose a literal metaphor of the idiom inside the park as a monument. In the area of the National Sculpture Gallery, a typographic installation/sculture will be built, in which the word "ΓΟΥΔΗ" with a sans-serif typeface in three dimensions. The letter "Η" will be rotated by 90° around its vertical axis. Thus, its side view will be visible from the front of the installation, which will be as thick as the axis and therefore will be read as "I". The work will serve as signage in a second level, since the area is known, and will denote the dual spelling "Η-Ι", as well as the vertical concepts resulting from this. Optionally the research notes can be posted on both sides of the symbol.

Goudi poster